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Here’s How Much a Tesla Solar Roof Will Cost You (and How Long It Will Last)…

Here’s How Much a Tesla Solar Roof Will Cost You (and How Long It Will Last)…

    Solar Panel Cost. Commercial

    A 10 kW to 2 MW commercial solar panel system costs 1.83 per watt before any tax rebates or incentives. Larger fixed-tilt or one-axis tracking utility-scale systems greater than 2 MW cost 1.06 per watt on average.

    Commercial solar installation costs for small and mid-sized businesses range from 43,000 for a 25 kW system up to 175,000 for a 100 kW system. Businesses recover about 45 percent of solar panels costs within the first year through tax credits and rebate programs.


    Average Cost Before Tax Credits

    Solar Panel Cost. Residential

    The first step to calculating your solar panel costs is to estimate the system size you need. The average residential installation is 3 kW to 10 kW depending size, location, and energy needs.

    below include the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which reduces your overall costs by 30%. Additional solar incentives and rebates are available from individual states, utilities, and local governments, which further reduce your total costs.


    How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

    The average family uses 11,000 kWh per year and needs 26 to 33 solar panels to power the whole house. One solar thermal panel generates enough energy to power a hot water heater for a family of four. The number of panels needed depends on your location and roof size.

    Most states have a solar production ratio of 1.3 to 1.6, which means an 8kW system produces 30% more energy, or 10,600 kWh annually on average. To calculate how many solar panels you need, look at your annual kWh (kilowatt-hours) usage on your utility bills and referenced the table and map below.


    Average kWh Produced Annually

    Table based on 250 watt panels at average solar production ratios of 1.3 to 1.6.

    Where you live is a significant factor when estimating how many solar panels you need to power your house. Regions with less sunlight require larger systems to produce 100% of their energy needs.

    Using the map below, take the number written in your shaded region and multiply by the estimated size of your system in kW. Then, multiply this number by 0.78 to account for inefficiencies and energy conversion losses.

    For example, let’s say you live in Texas with a score of 1700, and you believe you’ll need an 8 kW system. This formula calculates a good estimate on how much electricity (kWh) your 8 kW system will produce annually.

    1700 × 8 kW × 0.78 = 10,608 kWh

    Below are the rough calculations which estimate the system size needed in each region to produce 11,000 kWh for the average home.


    Solar Panel Cost Per Watt

    Residential solar panels cost 2.53 to 3.15 per watt, with most homeowners spending 2.70 per watt on average before any tax credits or incentives. Commercial solar costs 1.83 per watt on average. Solar systems have ratings based on the electricity produced annually in average conditions.

    Solar Energy Cost Per kWh

    Residential solar energy costs 0.08 to 0.10 per kWh on average, and commercial or utility-scale solar power costs 0.06 to 0.08 per kilowatt-hour. include the Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) and vary drastically based on the amount of sunlight and type of solar panels installed.


    These figures represent the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), which is the average revenue per unit of electricity generated that would be required to recover the costs of the solar panels over their life expectancy. Consult with solar installers to calculate savings.

    Cost of Solar Panels Per Square Foot

    The cost of solar panels to power your house are 4 to 10 per square foot. However, most installers estimate solar costs by the amount of energy needed, at 2.53 to 3.15 per watt before any tax credits or incentives.

    Below are cost estimates based on home size. Overall costs depend on the type of solar panels, the size and design of your roof, and your energy needs.


    Residential Cost of Solar Panels By State

    The average cost of solar varies significantly per state but overall is affordable. The local cost of electricity influences the cost of solar per watt in your area. Below are the average per watt and by system size across the United States, including the 30% federal solar rebate.


    Average Solar Panel Installation Costs By Brand

    Below are total installation costs for 6kW and 10kW residential solar systems by brand which includes the 30% tax credit. Most solar manufacturers offer similar pricing, however, the price you pay is typically reflective of panel quality.


    include 30% tax credit and reflect installation costs from solar contractors. Total costs depend on the location, installers experience, inverter, and other equipment.

    How Much Does One Solar Panel Cost?

    One 150 to 300-watt solar panel costs 112 to 450 on average, or between 0.75 to 1.50 per watt depending on the type of panel, energy-efficiency rating, and size. Solar companies that purchase in bulk typically spend 0.75 per watt, whereas homeowners spend 1 per watt.

    Most distributors only sell solar panels to local contractors at bulk wholesale prices. Hiring a solar installer will drastically reduce your overall equipment costs. These are for the panels only, additional fees for installation includes inverters, batteries, mounting hardware, wiring, and more.


    Solar Panel Lease Cost

    A solar panel lease costs 100 per month on average, with most spending between 50 and 250 per month depending on their location and energy needs. Leasing solar panels is cost-effective and typically saves 50 to 100 per month on your electricity bills with little to no down payment.

    Solar leasing companies are responsible for the installation and maintenance fees for the duration of your contract. If you decide to move, expect to pay additional charges to end your leasing agreement because transferring the lease to another buyer can be difficult.

    here, much, tesla, solar, roof

    If you own your solar system outright that generates 100% of your power, the monthly cost is less than 10 per month for minor grid-tied connection fees. An off-grid system has no monthly costs other than general maintenance.

    Tesla Solar Roof Cost

    A Tesla solar roof costs 22 to 45 per square foot, which includes the solar roof tiles, a Powerwall, roof and site repairs, and complete system installation. A 9.45 kW solar system installed on a 1,800 square foot roof costs between 39,600 and 81,000.

    On average, solar shingles cost up to 8,000 more than installing a new roof with traditional PV solar panels. Glass-faced solar shingles mimic the appearance of a tiled roof and cover more surface area than mounted PV panels to catch more sunlight.

    Solar tiles have a lower efficiency rating in producing electricity. They may not last as long as PV panels because their design doesn’t allow much room for ventilation, which can lead to overheating.

    Here’s How Much a Tesla Solar Roof Will Cost You (and How Long It Will Last)

    Tesla reveals new details on pricing and product options for homeowners.

    We’ve been waiting on pricing details for Tesla’s solar roof since last year. They’re finally available.

    Tesla officially started taking orders for its highly anticipated solar roofing system today. Since the public launch of the product last fall, Elon Musk has been dropping small details about warranties and performance.- but he’s said nothing about how much consumers can expect to pay.

    Tesla now has a website that allows homeowners to figure out how much it will cost them. Here are the most important details that we know so far.

    Musk: It’s a better product at a slightly better price

    According to Tesla, the product will cost 21.85 per square foot for an average American home.- making it competitive with standard tile, metal or slate roofs. You can read more about Tesla’s assumptions here.

    Speaking on a briefing call with reporters, Musk said a solar roof covering 40 percent of the average-sized American home would generate 10 percent to 20 percent more electricity than a standard solar system.

    It’s a better product at a slightly better price, said Musk, comparing the product to conventional roofs.

    It’s the most affordable roof you can buy, said Peter Rive, SolarCity’s chief technology officer, on the call.

    In a blog post, Tesla provided a cost comparison to other roofing options: As shown in the graph below, the cost of our non-solar tiles is comparable to regular roofing tiles. Although the cost of our solar tiles is more expensive upfront, it can be more than offset by the value of energy the tiles produce. In many cases, the reduction in a home’s electricity bill over time will be greater than the cost of the roof.

    What is the product, exactly?

    It’s a fully integrated system.- tempered glass solar tiles, power electronics, and an all-inclusive contract for financing and maintenance. Oh, and the warranty is infinity. Really.

    We offer the best warranty in the industry.- the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first, wrote the company.

    Musk said the roofing contract would be structured much like we sell cars.

    here, much, tesla, solar, roof

    But here‘s an important caveat about the all-inclusive nature of the contract: The estimated cost of your Solar Roof includes materials, installation, and the removal of your old roof. Taxes, permit fees and additional construction costs such as significant structural upgrades, gutter replacement, or skylight replacements are not included.

    According to Tesla, the roof is three times as strong as standard roofing tiles and one-third the weight of a normal tile.

    As Musk hinted on earlier this morning, Tesla will offer gray smooth glass tiles and black textured glass tiles. The slate glass and Tuscan tiles will be available in six to nine months.

    Musk said that Tesla expects consumers to cover 40 percent of their roof with solar tiles on average. The calculator allows customers to price out their own roof with up to 70 percent solar tiles.

    Tesla wants to upsell you batteries

    If you price out your home, Tesla will encourage you to add a Powerwall. That’ll add another 7,000 to the system.

    We recommend that every Solar Roof be installed with a Powerwall battery to enable you to use more of the solar power your roof produces and keep your home running during a grid outage. In states that do not have Net Energy Metering policies, we estimate and recommend a number of Powerwalls that will enable you to realize the full benefit of the energy your Solar Roof produces.

    It’s manufactured in America

    Tesla plans to make the entire system in Buffalo, New York, with cells made from Panasonic. Peter Rive, the CTO of SolarCity, said the efficiency of the solar roof tile was equivalent to a standard solar PV module.

    JB Straubel, the chief technology officer at Tesla, said it is a very different approach to manufacturing solar modules. He added that the solar division had leaned heavily on the Tesla team.- particularly when it came to developing electrical connectors.

    Musk said the strong tempered glass makes it easier to ship than conventional tiles. And because the product is one-third the weight, the cost of shipment is also much lower. We save on logistics and breakage, he said.

    Installations start this summer in California

    It’ll cost you 1,000 to reserve a system. Installations will occur on a first-come, first-served basis.

    We’re going to essentially custom-design the solar roof system for a homeowner, said Rive about the systems.

    An important note: The product initially will only be available to California homeowners. Tesla will expand to other states in the future, depending on demand.

    Installations will start in June, beginning with California and rolling out to additional markets over time. When Solar Roof is rolled out in a particular market, Solar Roof customers will be installed based on when their order was placed, wrote Tesla.

    Installations will begin this summer. aesthetically appealing options will be released in 2018.

    We’ll have much more analysis on the value to consumers.- and how Tesla plans to integrate the product into its sales model.- in future coverage.

    Should you replace your roof with solar shingles?

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    Any homeowner who’s concerned about carbon footprints and energy costs has considered solar power — usually, in the shape of solar panels. But now there’s another option: an entire solar roof.

    Solar roofs are composed of solar shingles, aka solar tiles, that can fit over existing shingles or be installed on their own. So the energy-harvesting ability is baked into the roof itself. The shingles do everything regular shingles do, roof-wise (protect your house from the elements), are fire-resistant, and are quite durable. Plus, they look a lot more sleek and seamless than solar panels.

    If you’re considering replacing your roof (or are building a new one for a new home), solar shingles may be a particularly timely choice. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, offers enhanced tax credits of up to 30 percent of the cost of installations, increasing the incentive to go solar.

    Let’s shed more light on the subject.

    What are solar shingles?

    Solar shingles or tiles are like regular roof shingles. But instead of being made of asphalt, clay or slate, they are made of glass that contain photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells act as semiconductors and transfer energy collected from the sunlight into electrons, which can then become electrical current to power your home. Each shingle typically produces between 13 and 63 watts of energy, depending on the brand (one of the latest, by industry leader Tesla, claims to have a max power of 71 watts). While they both convert sunlight to energy, solar shingles are quite different from the solar panels (we’ll dig into the differences later).

    The first solar shingles were developed by DOW Chemical Company, rolling out in 2011. But the concept began to get serious traction in 2016, when Tesla purchased manufacturer Solar City and began offering what it deemed the Tesla Solar Roof. Today, there are several brands of the solar roof tiles available through manufacturers like CertainTeed, GAF Energy, Luma, SunTegra and of course Tesla. (Dow dropped out of the game.)

    The average size of a solar shingle or tile is about 12 inches wide by 86 inches long. It takes about 350 solar tiles for a standard-size roof. Tiles weigh about 13 pounds per square foot, so most roofs can handle them without additional reinforcement.

    What do solar shingles cost?

    Although the have been dropping of late, as more makers enter the market, solar roofs are expensive. On average, the cost to install solar roof shingles runs 21 to 25 per square foot or 2,100 to 2,600 per roofing square. So a total project could easily average 60,000 to 75,000 — at least. That’s considerably higher than the cost of a conventional roof (between 5,646 and 12,031. according to HomeAdvisor). Even expensive traditional materials like clay or slate (800 to 1,800 per square) cost less than solar tile.

    What solar roof tiles will cost you depends on several factors including:

    • Roof size: The bigger the roof, the more shingles needed.
    • Roof pitch/slope: As is the case with any roof, the more extreme the angling, the more difficult/risky the installation will be, which affects the overall cost.
    • Home location: Labor (installation) costs vary by city and state.
    • Energy needs of your home.
    • Particular manufacturer/brand of shingle or tile.

    Still, solar shingle have dropped since their introduction, and they may continue to do so, given the Inflation Reduction Act’s significant incentives and grants for solar implementation, for builders as well as consumers. The Solar Energy Industries Association believes that the IRA’s investment in clean energy will spur “a renaissance in American solar manufacturing,” driving down costs. as its recent “Catalyzing American Solar Manufacturing” report put it.

    What do you save in energy costs?

    While expensive to install, a solar roof can save in the long run. Depending on the number of tiles on your roof, solar shingles can reduce energy costs by anywhere from 40 to 60 percent, according to the consumer education site SolarReviews. Additionally, you may be eligible for federal and state tax incentives.

    Helping the immediate bite a bit: Per the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, eligible homeowners who install solar shingles will qualify for a 30 percent tax credit on the installation cost. Starting in tax year 2023, this credit continues through 2032 (and then at a reduced percentage through 2034). Several states offer credits, rebates and other incentives as well.

    Solar shingles vs solar panels

    Both solar shingles and solar panels can be a great option to take your home energy efficiency to the next level. But which is best for you? The advantages of each in a nutshell:

    Solar shingles Solar panels
    weather-resistant and durable Can be more energy-efficient depending on roof slope, sunlight exposure
    Greater energy-bill savings Shorter installation time
    aesthetically pleasing (fewer potential HOA issues) inexpensive to install

    What are the advantages of a solar roof?

    When compared to conventional roofs and solar panels, there are some advantages to investing in solar shingles.

    • They are projected to be long-lasting (30-40 years)
    • They reduce energy use/carbon footprint and bills
    • They blend in better and resemble traditional roof materials
    • They are more cost effective per watt of solar energy than solar panels
    • They are easier to maintain than solar panels

    What are the disadvantages of a solar roof?

    Downsides of solar shingles relate to their being such a new technology.

    • Availability is more limited
    • They are more expensive than conventional roofs and solar panels
    • They have fewer style and color options
    • Since part of the roof itself, they cannot be installed at an angle like solar panels can, to produce maximum energy
    • They are not conducive to a DIY installation

    The final word on solar shingles

    Solar shingles are still pretty new, which means experienced installers and contractors may be limited in your area. And their exact lifespan and durability is still something of a question mark, of course: None have been around long enough to prove the current projections. Nor is there much sense, as yet, as to how they’d affect a house’s resale value (though eco-friendly features, in general, are getting more popular with homebuyers).

    Still, if you’re an environmentally-conscious homeowner in need of a full roof replacement or a roof for a new build, solar shingles are worth considering. With some states now requiring that newly built homes be solar power-equipped, and enhanced federal tax credits in effect starting in 2023, the time to go solar may be now.

    Tesla solar roof cost vs solar panels might surprise you.

    Tesla unveiled their solar tiles in late 2016 and the big question on most of our minds remains the same: What is Tesla’s solar roof cost vs solar panels?

    Originally Tesla was somewhat silent on the issue, but they’ve since published information on cost and added a calculator to their website that estimates both homeowners’ total cost to install solar tiles on their home as well as the savings they’ll earn over the life of the solar panels.

    We at Understand Solar analyzed the cost data and took the solar calculator for a ride to see what we could find out.

    Cost to Install Tesla’s Solar Tiles

    First things first, let’s take a look the total cost to install these solar tiles, then calculate exactly how much you can save over the life of the roof.

    Total Cost to Install

    Tesla estimates that their solar tiles cost around 21.85 per square foot of roof space, with 35% of the roof tiles being solar tiles and the remaining being matching, non-solar tiles.

    FYI, solar tiles can’t be installed on all areas of the roof, so Tesla is manufacturing matching tiles both with and without solar panels. The cheaper non-solar tiles are installed in shaded or north-facing areas of a roof where putting solar just doesn’t make sense. This allows you to only install solar where it’s beneficial, lowering your total cost and leading to more savings.

    Strangely enough, the Tesla blog post linked to above actually pulls all its cost data from a November 2016 Consumer Reports article that estimated the cost of Tesla’s solar roof. Why Tesla cites a cost estimate from another company is beyond us. Tesla must have found the estimates so on point they decided to use them.

    Perhaps a better cost estimate comes from Tesla’s own newly released cost calculator for their solar tiles.

    With this calculator, you type in your address (presumably so Tesla can know the number of sunlight hours in your area as well as your utility rates), home square footage, and the number of stories in your home and it will calculate out general costs and savings.

    Below is a quick rundown of installation costs for single story homes with varying square footage. To stay as close as possible to the cost estimate above, we chose to cover just 40% of roofs with solar tiles (there is no 35% option), though Tesla recommends 70% for max production. For the costs below, we’ve already included the 30% federal tax credit as well.

    • 1,000 sqft home: 21,210 (21.21 per square foot)
    • 2,000 sqft home: 40,250 (20.12 per square foot)
    • 5,000 sqft home: 95,970 (19.19 per square foot)

    Obviously, your home’s square footage doesn’t necessarily correlate to your roof’s square footage, but it gives a pretty good estimate if your home is a single story home. You can expect to pay around 20 per square foot – actually pretty close to the estimate above from 2016 (well done, Consumer Reports).

    How does this cost compare to traditional roofing? Below we’ve highlighted the cost per square foot of a handful of common roofing materials. As you can see they are much cheaper than Tesla’s solar tiles, especially the ubiquitous asphalt shingle (all cost estimates from Homewyse):

    • Asphalt shingle: 3.40 per square foot
    • Metal Tile: 10.26 per square foot
    • Clay Tile: 14.85 per square foot
    • Slate Tile: 15.06 per square foot

    Even slate tile – the most expensive traditional roofing material of the bunch – costs about 25% less than Tesla’s solar roof tiles. 40k for roofing? What gives? If Tesla’s solar tiles are so expensive, why are they such a big deal? Who can even afford them?

    The not-so-secret secret, as you well know, is the fact that Tesla’s solar tiles are roofing as well as solar panels. After the installation, you’ll be producing your own electricity, allowing you to save money while the tiles just sit up on your roof.

    This leads us to our next method of calculating Tesla’s solar tiles cost: looking at total savings.

    here, much, tesla, solar, roof

    Total Savings After 30 Years

    This is where it gets good. As mentioned, the total installation cost is just one piece of the puzzle. Yes, Tesla’s solar tiles are expensive. However, over their lifetime they’ll be producing electricity that you can use directly in your home. Tesla’s Solar Roof is a financial investment. Yes, it’s a lot of money, but spending 10 today to get 15 tomorrow makes sense, right?

    Let’s look back at our cost examples above for the different sized homes. Installation costs for Tesla’s solar tiles drop slightly as your roof gets bigger but generally fall around 20/square foot. Let’s see how much electricity each of these homes can generate. Tesla has yet to publish data on the efficiency or wattage of their solar tiles, so we’ll have to use their solar calculator again.

    Obviously, the more sunlight hits a solar panel, the more electricity it will produce. This means that solar panels in different cities will produce different amounts of electricity. In their solar calculator, Tesla accounts for these differences as well as fluctuations between local utility prices.

    Let’s compare a few very different cities to get an idea of how much electricity Tesla’s solar tiles can produce over 30 years (the claimed lifespan of the tiles), as well as the total net savings:

    Los Angeles, CA

    • 1,000 sqft home: produce 49,900 worth of electricity (net savings of 28,690)
    • 2,000 sqfthome: produce 94,800 worth of electricity (net savings of 54,550)
    • 5,000 sqft home: produce 180,600 worth of electricity (net savings of 84,630)
    • 1,000 sqfthome: produce 42,800 worth of electricity (net savings of 21,590)
    • 2,000 sqft home: produce 63,900 worth of electricity (net savings of 23,650)
    • 5,000 sqft home: produce 127,600 worth of electricity (net savings of 31,630)
    • 1,000 sqft home: produce 24,600 worth of electricity (net savings of 3,390)
    • 2,000 sqft home: produce 46,800 worth of electricity (net savings of 6,550)
    • 5,000 sqft home: produce 111,700 worth of electricity (net savings of 15,730)

    You could probably have assumed this, but savings are highest in southern California, where solar irradiance (the strength of the sunlight) and utility rates are both sky-high. Even in North Carolina, though, Tesla estimates your total savings from solar will not only pay for your roof but also saves you thousands of dollars over the 30-year life of your solar roof.

    Suddenly, Tesla’s solar tiles don’t look too expensive, do they?

    Before you get too excited, a few caveats are in order:

    • Tesla hasn’t released technical data (wattage, efficiency, etc) on their solar tiles, so we aren’t really able to verify these energy production claims.
    • Obviously, a 5,000 square foot home is huge and probably wouldn’t be a single story home, so our savings estimate for that one is likely skewed. However, we kept all our examples as a single story home so we could compare apples-to-apples costs.
    • Keep in mind that the calculator above doesn’t know your personal electricity use, so these savings amounts might be higher than what you can actually achieve. Without knowing more about the workings of the calculator, we’re left in the dark.

    That being said, the calculator still performs one basic function well: it shows that a Tesla Solar Roof could be a good financial investment.

    Tesla Solar Roof Cost vs Solar Panels

    Here’s the big question: Tesla’s solar roof cost vs solar panels. When compared to conventional panels, do Tesla’s shingles still make sense?

    Right off the bat, let’s say this: Tesla’s tiles are more expensive than normal solar panels. That makes sense as it’s really two products in one: roofing and solar.

    Let’s dig into the numbers a bit: and compare costs for the average US home, which now clocks in at 2,700 square feet in size:

    • Tesla Solar Shingles: At 21.85 per square foot, you’d shell out 58,995
    • New Shingles Conventional Solar Panels: 9,180 for asphalt shingles and 11,970 for a 5.7kW solar installation (the average size in the US), for a total of 21,150.

    As you can see, Tesla’s solar shingles really don’t make financial sense. Even if you install a giant solar installation – upwards of a whopping 10 to 12 kW – with conventional solar panels, you’re still better off financially. With Tesla’s solar shingles, you’re spending a lot more money for the same end result: a new roof and a solar installation that helps you save money.

    Of course, things can and will change. will certainly decrease as more and more homeowners install Tesla’s solar tiles. Tesla’s already done it with their Powerwall 2, which packs quite a punch at a surprisingly low price.

    Considering that you’re getting both solar panels and a very durable roof when you purchase Tesla’s solar tiles, it seems like they’re on course to be a game changer in the roofing industry and solar industry.

    Who’s the Market for Tesla’s Solar Tiles?

    At such a high cost, who’s the market for Tesla’s solar shingles? 40k for a 2,000 square foot home? That’s quite an investment. At such high cost, you’ve got yourself a niche product, at least until the price comes down a bit.

    Obviously people buy cars that cost 30k to 40k, typically by taking out a loan. We’re sure the same thing will happen with these solar shingles as well. However, with the majority of the population having less than 1,000 in their bank account, a 40k investment in roof shingles is a longshot for most of the population.

    Instead, just like Tesla’s incredible automobiles, the well-to-do are the likely early adopters of Tesla’s shingles. This isn’t such a bad thing though. The same thing happened with traditional solar panels as well: they were expensive at first and only a handful of wealthier homeowners could afford to install them. However, as more people jumped on the trend, panel production increased, dropped, and more and more people could go solar.

    In fact, this was Elon Musk’s exact plan with their own electric vehicles: make a high-end product while the technology is expensive, then produce cars for the masses once the technology drops in price. This is a plan he adopted at the very outset of Tesla and made public back in 2006. Talk about vision!

    So while at the beginning Tesla’s solar tiles might just be for the rich – even with the high savings over the life of the tiles – as time progresses and costs lower, they might just be the technology that shifts solar from a ‘green’ technology to standard technology – one you see (or more accurately, don’t see – that’s the point right?) everywhere.

    Until then, the shocking height of Tesla’s solar roof cost vs solar panels will keep it out of reach of most homeowners. Better to just install ‘normal’ solar panels and enjoy that extra cash you’ll see.

    What Are Tesla Solar Roof Tiles? Are They Worth It?

    Many homeowners who have researched solar panels for their home eventually come across the Tesla Solar Roof. The solar roof tiles developed by Tesla, while not revolutionary, are making waves in the solar and roofing industries.

    The Tesla Solar Roof has come a long way from its initial designs and promises great savings for homeowners. However, there are still many questions that remain unanswered and cost estimates that don’t pan out in the end.

    What Is The Tesla Solar Roof?

    The Tesla Solar Roof is a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) product that functions as both a roofing material and a photovoltaic solar panel system. The solar roof tiles can be installed in place of regular roofing material with the same protection value, and they come in various designs resembling terra cotta tiles, slate, and composite shingles.

    The solar roofing tiles come in two formats: energy producing and non-energy producing. Energy producing tiles incorporate solar cells that produce energy when exposed to sunlight. Non-energy producing roof tiles do not produce solar energy, rather they look nearly identical to the energy producing solar tiles and serve to complete the roof’s protection and aesthetics.

    The solar roof shingles available today are the third version developed by Tesla since its initial product came out in 2016. According to Tesla, the latest version of their solar shingles are larger, more efficient, easier to install, are cheaper to produce, and have fewer parts.

    While Tesla is not the first company to develop solar roofing tiles, it is by far the largest player in the game today.

    How Much Does It Cost?

    Deciphering the ultimate cost of a Tesla Solar Roof can be a tricky task. As with any solar install, many factors contribute to the cost of a solar project. Add to this conflicting numbers between cost estimates from Tesla and real-life solar installs, and the task is even more challenging.

    However, we can use numbers provided by Tesla and numbers provided by real-life solar estimates from Tesla to compare the costs versus a conventional solar installation.

    According to Tesla, their Solar Roof costs 21.85 per square foot with the assumption that 35% of the roof will be covered by non-energy producing tiles. That means a 2,000 square foot roof would cost about 44,000. Keep in mind that this includes the cost of replacing the entire roof material in place of solar tiles.

    However, according to actual solar estimates from prospective Tesla customers. the actual cost of a Tesla Solar Roof comes out to approximately 35 per square foot. That adds over 26,000 to the cost of a 2,000 square foot roof.

    As you can see, the pricing difference between what Tesla estimates and the ultimate price can be quite different.

    The unfortunate task of getting a true price estimate for a is that not many have been installed yet. Tesla, not known for their transparency, has not provided numbers about how many Tesla Solar Roofs have been installed, nor provided much information about the ultimate costs of those installs.

    How Do Solar Roof Tiles Compare To Other Roofs?

    To compare the price of installing a Tesla Solar Roof to reinstalling other roofs, we need to break down two components: the cost of installing solar panels and the costs of reinstalling a roof.

    For a conventional solar installation, the average cost per Watt is approximately 2.75/Watt. That means, for an average home that installs a 7 kW solar panel system, the cost would be 19,250 (before solar incentives, such as the 30% solar tax credit ).

    As you can see, the cost of installing solar panels is much less than the cost of installing a Tesla Roof. If you were not considering reinstalling your roof, just installing solar panels would be your best option.

    However, what if you are also considering reinstalling your roof along with installing solar?

    The average cost of replacing an asphalt shingle roof for a 2,000 square foot home comes out to approximately 7,000, according to If we add this to the cost of installing solar panels (19,250, before incentives), the estimated cost would be 26,250.

    On paper this example of installing solar panels and reshingling the roof would cost less than installing a Tesla Solar Roof. However, what if your roof is not made of asphalt shingles?

    Below are cost estimates from for reinstalling different roofing materials. As you can see, the costs can vary quite a bit, but it can give you a good idea of the potential costs of reinstalling your roof. Combine this cost with the cost of installing solar panels (estimated 2.75 per Watt), and you will have an idea of how the price might compare to Tesla (estimated 21.85 per square foot).

    Is The Tesla Solar Roof Worth It?

    As you can see, there are many variables and many numbers to consider when comparing the Tesla Solar Roof with a conventional solar panel installation. It can be difficult to truly compare apples to apples.

    In many cases, homeowners are not looking to reinstall their roof along with installing solar panels. In this case, just installing solar panels is usually a better option than installing a whole Tesla Solar Roof.

    However, if you are considering reinstalling your roof along with installing solar panels, the pricing becomes more competitive. It would be a good idea to analyze the chart above to estimate how much reinstalling your roof might cost. From there you can speak with both your local solar company and Tesla to get an estimate of the cost for both options.

    To get a free solar estimate, or if you have any questions about how solar works, Green Ridge Solar is here to help. Contact Green Ridge Solar today for a free solar analysis, or check out our Solar Calculator to see how much you could save with solar.

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